Faith is a subject matter which cannot be taken lightly if you are in the pursuit of excellence in devotional service. You cannot be unmindful about it as it holds great importance in the quest of love of Godhead. In this article, we will be specifically dealing with faith in Nitai Vayulekhan- the primary spiritual practice for all devotees of Nitai. Nitai Vayulekhan is the very core of our Mission. If we do not have complete faith in this rare spiritual practice then how will we take this Mission forward? How will we progress in our own Nitai bhajan? How will we loot the boundless mercy which has been bequeathed to us in the form of निताइ Nam? As per the verdict of Sadhu, Guru, and Shastra, taking shelter of the holy names of the Lord is the sole religion in Kaliyug:
“nama bina kali-kale nahi ara dharmma
sarvva-mantra-sara nama,—ei sastra marmma”
“In this age of quarrel and hypocrisy there is no other religion but the chanting of the holy name; this is the essence of all Mantras, this is the purport of all the Scriptures.”
[Sri Chaitanya-Charitamrta Adi 7.74]
There are many names of Lord Hari which can be chanted but it is especially recommended to chant the Hare Krishna mahamantra for quick deliverance. However, there is no restriction to take shelter of any other principal name of Krishna as they all are non-different from Him. As Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu said in the 2nd verse of the Shikshashtaka, “namnam akari bahudha nija-sarva-shaktis”
“O my Lord, Your holy name alone can render all benediction to living beings, and thus You have hundreds and millions of names, like Krishna and Govinda. In these transcendental names, you have invested all Your transcendental energies.”
Thus, it is clear that all the transcendental energies of the Lord are invested in all the principal names of the Lord. In Kaliyug we all are so offensive that we constantly commit the 10 offenses against the Hare Krishna Mahamantra which inhibits our spiritual growth. Thus, we take shelter of Nitai’s merciful holy name which does not consider any offenses. Nitai Balaram is non-different from Krishna and He is more merciful than even the most merciful form of Krishna, that is, Gauranga.
emon, doyāl to nāi he, mār kheye prema dey
(ore) aparādha dūre jābe, pābe prema-dhan
o nāme aparādha-vicāra to nāi he
“Oh! Such a merciful personality as Nityananda Prabhu is not to be found anywhere! He suffers a beating from Jagai and Madhai and still gives them the love of God! Oh! When your offenses are being vanquished, you will obtain the treasure of love of God! But in these names of Caitanya and Nitai there is no consideration of offenses!”
In this age of Kali, it is strictly advised not to deviate from the holy names and take up any other process. Your faith in the holy names is the greatest wealth that you possess. You must have this Nishtha (irrevocable faith) that there is absolutely no difference between the holy names and the Lord. In this light, let us look at the concept of Vayulekhan. Can Vayulekhan be called a deviation? Is Vayulekhan something different from the Yug Dharm? No. Not at all. In fact, it takes our faith in Nam prabhu to an even higher level. One may have faith in the sound of a holy name but such a faith is abstract because it is based on one’s belief that mantras have healing powers. One does not have the faith that the Lord’s name is the Lord Himself. One’s faith is confined to the healing powers of the sound vibration of a mantra. However, if someone has faith in the sanskrit akshar parabrahm then that is proper faith in Nam prabhu. Such a faith can never be abstract. Only that person who is truly convinced that there is complete non-difference between the Lord and His name can accept the Nam akshars as Parabrahm. And the process of Vayulekhan is based on this understanding only that the sanskrit syllables of the holy names are non-different from the Lord. Those who perform Vayulekhan show the Lord that, “Yes! We have complete faith that Your name is non-different from you.” When Nam prabhu sees our faith, He gets very much pleased and we receive His mercy very soon. You must have heard how the monkeys in Ram’s army wrote Ram’s name on the stones and how glorious it is to write the names of the Lord on one’s body. If you still do not have complete faith in the divinity of the syllables then let me provide more proofs from our Acaryas:
Shrila Rupa Goswami writes,
jaya namadheya! munivrnda-geya!
All Glory to You, O Holy Name! You are eternally sung by the sages; You are the joy of the hearts of all, and You have graciously appeared in this form of the Transcendental syllables to bring all good to the souls suffering in this world. (Shri Namashtakam, Shlok 2)
Let us look at a few excerpts of the bhajans which Shrila Bhaktivinod Thakur wrote based on the verses of the Namashtakam of Shrila Rupa Goswami ,
jaya jaya harinam, cidanandamrita-dham,
nija-jane kripa kori’, nama-rupe avatari’,
jive doya korile apar
“ All glories, all glories to the holy name of the Lord, the abode of immortal transcendental bliss! The Supreme Absolute Truth, who possesses an eternal form of sacred syllables, has descended in the form of the holy name. Thereby He shows mercy to His own devotees while showering boundless compassion upon all fallen souls.”
The phrase ‘para-tattva akshara-akar’ is the ultimate proof that the form of the syllables of the holy names is transcendental absolute reality (para-tattva). Please pay attention to the word ‘akshar-akar’ which means ‘form of syllables’..
ohe krishna-namakshar, tumi sarva-shakti-dhar,
“O Lord Krishna in the form of name-syllables! You possess all supreme powers, and are engaged in bestowing pure auspiciousness upon the living beings.”
sabu-rasa-akara, `hari’ iti dvy-akshara,
sabu-bhave koralun ashroy
nama carane pa’di, bhaktivinoda kohe,
tuwa pade magahun niloy
The two syllables Ha and ri are a mine of all varieties of devotional mellow. Every ecstasy of devotion has taken shelter in them. Falling at the lotus feet of the holy name, Bhaktivinoda says, “O Harinam, I pray for residence at Your lotus feet.”
To conclude, there is ultimate gain in being faithful to the process of Nitai Vayulekhan as it instills an irrevocable faith in the holy names into the heart of a Sadhaka. Only by becoming a namakshar-parayana Vaishnav can you become a nam-parayana Vaishnav. Otherwise you will simply remain a parinam-parayan Vaishnav (result-oriented, without any genuine faith in Nam prabhu).
Worthless disciple of Shrila Nitaipreshthji,